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Before You Say 'I Do': Why Your Wellness Program Shouldn't Marry Your Carrier

Posted by Frank Jakka, CWP, CPT, Director, Health & Productivity on August 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Before You Say 'I Do': Why Your Wellness Program Shouldn't Marry Your Carrier

For most employers, your wellness program is closely tied to your employee benefits package. Wellness incentives and initiatives, as well as measures of program effectiveness, are typically guided by your benefits plan and claims information.

Insurance carriers are well aware of the relationship between wellness programs and health plan benefits, with almost all providing some type of complimentary preventive health or wellness program design. Wellness program support can come in the form of health education seminars, biometric screenings, flu shots, or even a technology platform.

While we recommend leveraging these carrier offerings (especially those at no cost), we suggest not getting too married to their programs and keeping a maiden program identity. Before becoming too smitten with your carrier, consider putting their proposal on ice (or I.C.E.):

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness

California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Posted by Marsh & McLennan Agency West Region on May 10, 2018 at 8:00 AM
California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Decision may lead to higher costs and greater liabilities for employers

California employers who engage independent contractors are now subject to a stringent new test that may ultimately force employers to reclassify many of these workers as employees, according to a ruling by the California Supreme Court on April 30, 2018.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Breaking News, Property + Casualty, Human Resources, Workers' Compensation

How to Craft Your Benefits Package to Appeal to Millennials

Posted by Alan Ikeya, Principal on May 7, 2018 at 10:00 AM
How to Craft Your Benefits Package to Appeal to Millennials

This article was first published in San Francisco Business Times.

Millennials are reshaping the workforce, so is it any surprise their priorities are also redefining employee benefit programs?

Unlike employees in years past, highly-motivated, highly-educated millennials are looking for more than just a 401(k) contribution, medical and dental insurance, and paid-time off.

They’re actually looking for employee benefits that help them with challenges previous generations never encountered, like the crushing burden of student debt. And, they want their employers to offer a broader range of health and wellness benefits to support their active lifestyles.

Why millennials matter so much

For employers, satisfying the changing priorities of millennials is critical. In 2016, millennials – those between those ages 21 to 36 last year – became the largest generation in the workforce, according to Pew Research. Today, one in three workers is a millennial. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials.

In today’s increasingly tight labor market, particularly in urban centers like the San Francisco Bay Area where technology firms have set a very high bar, benefit programs that address millennial concerns can make all the difference in successful recruiting.

In our work with large and small firms across every industry segment, we have partnered with employee benefits program managers to suggest innovative benefits that align with millennial lifestyles.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Technology, Market Trends

5 Ways to Get More From Your HR Technology Investment

Posted by Sam Brasch, Principal on March 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM
5 Ways to Get More From Your HR Technology Investment

This article was orginally published in San Francisco Business Times.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Human Resources, Technology

Staying Top-Of-Mind: Compliance Requirements for 2018

Posted by Christopher K. Bao, Esq, Compliance Manager on January 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Staying Top-Of-Mind: Compliance Requirements for 2018

With the ever-changing landscape of the many compliance related requirements imposed on employers, it can feel like a full-time job to keep up with the many legal obligations and deadlines related to their health plans. To help employers stay on track, our in-house ERISA Attorneys have developed two step-by-step tools to assist with benefits plan administration in 2018.

2018 COMPLIANCE CALENDAR

The Compliance Calendar includes specific health plan deadlines that your company may need to meet during the 2018 calendar year. Although this calendar is intended for calendar year plans, it also contains some important deadlines for non-calendar year plans.

2017 FORM 1094-C AND FORM 1095-C CHEAT SHEET

Understanding how to complete the 1094-C and 1095-C Forms can be complicated and time consuming. To make the process more efficient and to assist employers with their general questions, we developed a line-by-line explanation of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Please note: As of December 22, 2017 the IRS has provided a thirty (30) day extension for employers/insurers to furnish Forms 1095-C and Form 1095-B to employees and insureds.

The 2018 Compliance Planning toolkit includes the 2018 Welfare Plan Compliance Calendar and 1094-C/1095-C Forms Cheat Sheet. Download your toolkit below.

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If you have any questions, please reach out to your broker.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Legislative Compliance

A Time of Uncertain Risk for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries

Posted by Tim McClellan, RPLU, AFSB, ARM on October 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM
A Time of Uncertain Risk for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries

Beginning in 1974, with the advent of The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), those who manage employer benefit plans are considered fiduciaries acting on behalf of participants and beneficiaries are subject to specific standards of conduct.

The standards of conduct required by ERISA are separated into four primary categories:

  • Duty of Loyalty – Be loyal to participants and beneficiaries
  • Duty of Prudence – Be prudent in making decisions
  • Duty of Diversify – Offer a variety of investments
  • Duty to Follow Plan Documents – Adhere to plan documents

Fiduciaries agree to make decisions about employee benefits in the best interest of plan participants. The law sees the responsibility as the fiduciary’s, at times holding them personally accountable, negatively impacting their personal assets. 

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Topics: Employee Benefits

Helping Reduce Type 2 Diabetes for Beyond Benefits Members

Posted by Nicole Mehrara, Principal, Employee Benefits Division on October 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Helping Reduce Type 2 Diabetes for Beyond Benefits Members

Marsh & McLennan Agency and Anthem Blue Cross’ partnership is bringing value to Beyond Benefits Trust clients and their employees through the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). With 90 percent of diabetes diagnoses being Type 2, the disease is a dangerous and growing crisis worldwide*. As part of our dedication to deliver innovative and quality healthcare, the DPP will provide educational awareness to employees while empowering them to improve their long term health.

We kicked off the program in August and reached over 10,000 members in the Trust. Employees that chose to engage in the program determined if they prefer to meet weekly online or in a classroom setting for 16 weeks and then monthly for the balance of a year. The program teaches participants to make lasting lifestyle changes by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and improving coping skills. By providing employees with tools such as a wireless scale or an activity tracker, support through small groups, weekly lessons, and access to a personal health coach, small changes will start to make a big difference!

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Topics: Employee Benefits

The Benefits Tech Trust: A Better Solution for Employee Benefits

Posted by Todd Bennett, Principal on June 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM
The Benefits Tech Trust: A Better Solution for Employee Benefits

As a small or mid-sized business, we understand a top priority is to make your money go further. When it comes to securing employee benefits insurance, health care pricing options are typically limited for smaller groups.

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Topics: Employee Benefits

Trust Member Saves $180K Annually with CharterShield School Benefits Trust

Posted by Pedro Reyes, Principal on April 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Trust Member Saves $180K Annually with CharterShield School Benefits Trust

You heard right. Compared to the direct market or offers from alternative brokers, our client Community Collaborative is saving approximately $180,000 per year by joining the CharterShield School Benefits Trust. Under the trust structure, employers qualify for large group rates, regardless of their size.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Market Trends

Beyond Benefits Celebrates Historic Rate Decrease

Posted by Erin Schultze, Client Executive, Trust Services on March 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Beyond Benefits Celebrates Historic Rate Decrease

This year, Beyond Benefits members experienced a 1.4% employee benefits rate decrease, while other life science companies outside of the trust are seeing double digit increases. To celebrate the program’s continued success, Beyond Benefits members joined MMA, Biocom and Anthem Blue Cross for a post-renewal celebration. Check out the video below for more information.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Market Trends

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